Paris Menswear Day Three: Rains, Rick Owens and Uniforme
Scandi fashion, which has been all the rage this past decade, finally made it onto a Paris runway Thursday lunchtime, doing so with a power puffe, super-hero show by Rains.
Rains - Kierkegaard cool
Rains is all about functional outerwear, but its design director, Tanne Vinter, was smart enough to take plenty of risks with this collection – showing loads of acid colors; taking risks with proportions and silhouette.
“This collection is very much about colors. What I wanted was that northern light, these very mysterious colors you see dancing on the sky, but pulled out of darkness, out from the sky. Like the lime and pink, we showed today,” explained the Rains designer.
That, and coolly adding semi-transparent materials “to add depth to the clothes,” continued Vinter, a tall, blond self-assured Viking with a mocking smile.
Transparency also kicked up 3D like outfits, some finished with a Rains monogram. While Vinter’s sense of winter volume was also cool and witty, especially the fantastic horizontal ribbed puffer thigh boots, or the regal puffer collars and trains.
Rains is fundamentally a global outerwear lifestyle brand with the puffer at its center. But by creating a show of complete uniform looks, and going for extremes, Vinter developed a timely fashion statement about winter glamour and funky futurism.
Talk about opening the door for Scandi fashion in Paris, the toughest fashion capital on the planet. No mean feat.
Rick Owens - Light, action, strobes
One always needs a little commitment to watch a Rick Owens show, especially this season at the American’s “strobe show,” where the audience was more or less bombarded with flashing lights, and the cast marched with fluorescent lamp heads.
Rick did, at least, forewarn us. And no guest in the show upstairs in Palais de Tokyo had a fit, so it all ended well. And the show was, well, something else.
Owens’ futuristic superhero returning from diastrophic battle concept has been one of the most influential in fashion this past decade. This season he took it somewhere new, mounting half-meter long, double fluorescent bulbs on Aztec party warriors. Who wore Brancusi-shaped bulbous down neck scarves and parkas; leather medieval minimalist knight leather cloaks and one-leg skirts that trailed behind the heel.
Weirdest of all were the leather and pony-skin headgear that came with built-in facemasks. Not quite a bring-out-the-gimp moment, but not so far.
Uniforme - Milly la Fôret mode
Everyone loves to talk about sustainable, but Uniforme really lives it.
Especially this season, with the reined in collection, highly covetable knits and utilitarian cool. All coming together in a perfectly judged video, shot inside a wooden pavilion home with huge glass windows near Fontainebleau: Airbnb heaven.
One felt one was living in the forest, as the cast interacted with rocks and ancient forest near the old town of Milly La Fôret.
More importantly, Uniforme is sustainable in that the designers don’t make oodles of prototypes, but work directly with artisans and small factories, so reducing waste. Anyone who has witnessed major league designers scrambling to edit down collections from several hundred looks to just 50 passages the night before a show will know what we mean.
“We want to be a smaller scale business, and we want to be an out of trend brand. More an evolving wardrobe, looking for our perfection,” said Rémi Bats, who together with Hugues Fauchard co-founded the brand, after meeting at Paris fashion school Studio Berçot.
This season, they evolved their double-collar, high-neck cable sweaters and their architectural pullovers that sit gently off the back. Plus, the smart flannel outer-shirts made of flannel from Fox Brothers were very now. Smart casual made of dead stock, like over 90% of the collection. Hard to get more sustainable than that.
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